Breaking out the fisking shears over here just in case my comment never sees the light of day. I may have been a little too snarky in my reply over there. It seems not to have been published.*
So on with the show.
Evening folk of the world wide web
Tonight I will be sharing my opinion on a subject that I grew to learn a lot about around 2 years ago since it was the matter of my dissertation. And that is the state of gun control in the United States of America.
Remember that statement about his knowledge of the subject. I’m not sure if it is reflective of failures in higher learning or this person’s willingness to distort the truth.
I would like to say now that some of this is going to be subjective opinion and some will be objective fact but I am writing from my own personal perspective and nobody else’s here.
To reiterate, I am a huge advocate of human rights and of personal liberty.I believe everyone should be free to live their lives without fear of intrusive reprisal from the government, so long as what they do isn’t in any way detrimental to their fellows or the state. So in this sense one might say every man or woman is free to own a firearm for the purposes of what they call it – self defence.
Anyone else waiting for him to drop the “I believe but…” line ?
Now don’t get me wrong, a gun is a very effective form of personal safety. If I were a burglar (this isn’t a confession, merely conjecture) I might think twice about breaking into someone’s house if I thought the guy who owned it was packing. Therefore merely the thought of a gun is sometimes useful enough with the need for any bullets to be fired.
In this he is correct and the studies back up his view; like this one
Professors James D. Wright and Peter Rossi surveyed 2,000 felons incarcerated in state prisons across the United States. Wright and Rossi reported that 34% of the felons said they personally had been “scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim”; 69% said that they knew at least one other criminal who had also; 34% said that when thinking about committing a crime they either “often” or “regularly” worried that they “[m]ight get shot at by the victim”; and 57% agreed with the statement, “Most criminals are more worried about meeting an armed victim than they are about running into the police.” (James D. Wright & Peter H. Rossi, Armed and Considered Dangerous: A Survey of Felons and Their Firearms . See Guns and Public Health: Epidemic of Violence or Pandemic of Propaganda? by Don B. Kates, et. al. Originally published as 61 Tenn. L. Rev. 513-596 ).
So firearms can be an effective deterrent and that survey was just from the criminals who had been caught and convicted.
But, the tragic real life scenario in the U.S is that bullets are being fired, and in huge quantities. In Britain there are around 60-70 gun related murders every year. In the U.S. this figure is over 10,000. Per year. That’s 10,000 people apparently being killed every circuit of the sun for the paranoia and fear of the American people for their self or property. That’s a lot of people to sacrifice for individual freedom.
Why is it anti-rights cultist follow the same pattern — declaring support for civil rights, limited government, failing to recognize defensive or recreational uses of firearms?
And let’s not forget the claim we are acting out of ‘paranoia and fear’. This is especially poignant coming from someone who has written a dissertation on the subject; surely in writing about ‘gun control’ he would encounter evidence that some of us are acting out of rational evaluation of the crime statistics, that we support the roll back of government intrusion in our lives — and not acting out of fear.
Every notice how anti-rights cultists love to compare the UK and America but fail to mention that for decades ever more restrictive gun control laws have been imposed on the island nation. Like saying
The USA has within its borders around 270 million (registered) guns that it can account for. Most of these are bought legally from firearm retailers, flea markets and private dealers. Bullets can even be found in such places as a K-Mart. Mind-boggling. This equates to 1 gun for every 0.87 person in America. Incredibly America does not have the highest gun ownership percentage in the world – they fall behind Switzerland where it is mandatory to keep a fully functioning gun in the house at all times – a gun:person rate of around 1-0.997.
This was where I asked him if he really went to a college and if he did, I suggested he get his money back. Or take a refresher math class. He reversed the numbers in his math. Given there are approximately 313 Million people and 270 Million firearms that means there is 1 gun for ever 1.16 people. Or 0.87 guns per person. Of course an academic fails to cover the firearm homicide rates aren’t all that far off if you compare per 100K of firearms. Surely someone who is writing on a dissertation level would check his math. Right?
In the UK, there are approximately 1.8 million registered firearms and using his number of 60 firearm related homicides gives us 3.31 homicides per 100K firearms. In America, going with the higher 12,000 homicides and 270 Million gives us 4.44 homicides per 100K firearms. So instead of being 200 times more homicidal that the UK, it looks to be only 33 percent more.
What a gun does is turn any situation potentially lethal. You go to any town in Britain at a weekend and you see drink-sodden souls throwing each other through windows or playing at fisticuffs but extremely rarely do these brawls result in fatality. However with the presence of a gun the sense of danger is incredibly heightened. A misunderstanding coupled with intoxication prevents a very real scenario where the use of a gun will result tragically.
So violence seems to be acceptable to him as long as it isn’t ‘gun violence’. Of course, that ignores the very real existence of the same type of brawling violence here in America. The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports over 5,00,000 violent crimes each year. Only a fraction of those are firearm related; around 8%. So perhaps the ‘presence of a gun’ doesn’t heighten the danger that much.
And there two possible reasons for that; first because of Defensive Gun Uses, where the presence or threat of a firearm, stops a crime. Second, it matters greatly who is carrying the firearm. Texas, like many states, tracks the conviction rates of those with a Concealed Handgun License. The current rate is around 0.18% of all convictions. That is for all crimes, firearm related or not. If they have a CHL and a conviction it is reported. So the majority of the people are law abiding and don’t cause the problems so feared by the anti-rights cultists.
One story from America that always resonated with me was a man who was bothered by some kids playing loud music outside his house, when he went out to ask them to turn it down and they refused, he shot one of them point blank and killed the lad. A perfectly mundane situation that happens thousands of times a day – blackened by the use of a gun.
Another common tactic – Joan Peterson of Commongunsense, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence board Member, co-president of the Northland Chapter of the Brady Campaign, President of Minnesota Million Moms March, Spokesperson for Protect Minnesota ; aka Japete — seems to be good at this. Actually it seems to be mostly what she does. Report an anecdote and use it to paint all incidents as the same. Of course the FBI.
Of course this ignores the larger problems; gangs and drug cartel activities
- Highly populated areas accounted for the vast majority of gang homicides: nearly 70 percent occurred in cities with populations over 100,000, and 19 percent occurred in suburban counties in 2011.
- The number of gang-related homicides increased approximately 10 percent from 2009 to 2010 and then declined slightly (2 percent) from 2010 to 2011 in cities with populations over 100,000.
- In a typical year in the so-called “gang capitals” of Chicago and Los Angeles, around half of all homicides are gang-related; these two cities alone accounted for approximately one in five gang homicides recorded in the NYGS from 2010 to 2011.
80% of crime – and that would probably include firearm related crime — is attributable to gangs or gang related crime. Domestic violence is another large chunk of firearm related homicides. So if anyone can enact a law that will stop gangs or domestic violence; I’ll write up their Nobel Prize submission letter. But let’s not pretend that the anecdote is representative of the whole.
A tactic always employed by the NRA (National Rifle Association) is the domestic violence aspect. Picture a wife being beaten by her husband. Ordinarily she is defenceless but give her a gun and she might just blow him away next time he comes home drunk and tries to beat her senseless. Fair enough, personal defence is something that is incredibly important but why should a gun be the first resort?
Straw Man argument alert — just who is arguing that a firearm should be the first resort? Anti-rights cultist like this guy. Most gun owners always recommend firearms as a last resort; avoid, deescalate and retreat are the options strongly recommended over and over again. But apparently writing a dissertation length paper doesn’t expose a person to that information. And it appears he forgot how to cite his sources of information. Sure if the NRA was recommending that domestic violence victims resort to firearms first, that would be easy to link to, right?
Some police forces experiment with the use of non-lethal weapons such as tasers (although the safety of these is disputed), sprays and bludgeons.
Law Enforcement have different roles that the average person. But even still many pro-rights advocates also support and use non-lethal means of defense. Notice the clever implications; Police forces try to save lives; gun owners don’t.
Guns usually result in the death of one or both parties and inviting one into the home is just waiting for it to be discharged, either by the abusive husband, the victim wife or, even worse, the unsuspecting child rooting through mummy and daddy’s things and just happening across the weapon – a case which has happened more than once I have to say.
See what I mean! It is as if this guy did his thesis via google search and anti-rights cultist websites such as Brady Campaign. The fact that 40% of the estimated 115,226,802 households have firearms should problem give a person pause before typing something so outrageous. Talk about fear and paranoia! Wow, all those guns — an estimate 46 million homes — just waiting to be used. Of course guns are always used to take lives, never save a life, never for recreation, never for hunting.
To summarise, I am not saying for one minute that guns should be scrapped completely, but there needs to be tighter regulations that restrict who can possess one.
No, you don’t want to scrap guns, you want to scrap the right. You want to turn it into a privilege; offered to only those approved and vetted by the government. Gee, haven’t we seen time and time again how this story plays out (New York City, California for two real life, real time examples).
Currently it is too easy for anyone to walk into a store and buy a firearm without the need for a background check.
I’ll admit to being very snarky in my comment on his site. Personally I think anyone who has written a dissertation on the subject of gun control and can still write that sentence is either flat out lying or is completely incapable of distinguishing reality from gun control fantasy. This isn’t just some person spouting off on the internet; this is supposedly a subject he is well versed in “ I grew to learn a lot about around 2 years ago since it was the matter of my dissertation. ” And yet something so basic as the fact it is federal law that licensed dealers, retail shops or not, have to conduct a background check prior to a a sales escapes this guy.
I’m not just talking handguns here either. The shooting in Aurora in 2012 was perpetrated by a man carrying fully automatic assault rifles – guns bred for no other purpose other than to kill in huge numbers.
Again — I’ll admit to asking if he actually learned anything during his study of gun control laws. Because a.) the murderer carried 1 rifle, 1 shotgun and one pistol, and b.) none of them were select fire weapons. This isn’t esoteric knowledge that could accidentally overlooked in the volume of available information. This is Firearms 101; select fire weapons have been tightly controlled since 1934 (National Firearms Act) and very expensive to own since 1986 (Hughes Amendment).
It also perpetuates the myth of ‘no other purpose than to kill’. Again ignoring the sporting and recreational purposes of firearms, ignoring the defensive purposes of firearms; the author uses his personal opinion in place of fact.
It’s far too easy for someone to get a hold of these weapons and use it for deadly force. How many more tragic shootings is America going to have to witness until policy change is effected?
Be very lovely to one another (and stay away from guns)
And again we see a complete avoidance of the reality. Even the Center for Disease Control could not find sufficient evidence to show that a change in policy or law would result in fewer deaths.
Center for Disease Control’s
First Reports Evaluating the Effectiveness of Strategies for Preventing Violence: Firearms Laws
During 2000–2002, the Task Force on Community Preventive Services (the Task Force), an independent nonfederal task force, conducted a systematic review of scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness of firearms laws in preventing violence, including violent crimes, suicide, and unintentional injury. The following laws were evaluated: bans on specified firearms or ammunition, restrictions on firearm acquisition, waiting periods for firearm acquisition, firearm registration and licensing of firearm owners, “shall issue” concealed weapon carry laws, child access prevention laws, zero tolerance laws for firearms in schools, and combinations of firearms laws. The Task Force found insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of any of the firearms laws or combinations of laws reviewed on violent outcomes. (Note that insufficient evidence to determine effectiveness should not be interpreted as evidence of ineffectiveness.) This report briefly describes how the reviews were conducted, summarizes the Task Force findings, and provides information regarding needs for future research.
And given the simple fact that “more guns = more deaths” is easily dis-proven; shouldn’t someone who has written a dissertation know better?
How about instead of focusing on the tool used; we decide to focus on the reasons why there are murders. How about we address the pathetic state of our mental health system. We look at poverty, education, families, employment — things that affect the reason why people do evil acts.
Please join the discussion.
* Got a reply after I was most of the way through this post
I’m sorry, your reply was a bit long for me to read last night so I skipped over it. I must have accidentally trashed it. Appreciate the feedback though, I would like to hear more about what you have to say.